tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC February 21, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST
making fun of the president and agreeing with him all in the same tweet. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. for the first time since his re-election, for the first time since those traffic problems if ft. lee, governor christie went face to face with his voters today. the political strategy here was obvious because there are two things that have made chris christie the national political figure that he is. the first are those town halls. >> i sat here, stood here, and very respectfully listened to you. if what you want to do is put on a show and giggle every time i talk, well then i have no interest in answering your question. so if you'd like to -- [ applause ] with all the important issues that we have going on in this state, you're wasting these people's time with a question on whether we plan questions in the
office. when you get this microphone in your hand, you're going to feel an indescribable but undeniable desire to make a speech. take my word for it. i feel it all the time. >> has the thought ever crossed your mind to run for president? >> just a small taste of the youtube sensation that was the chris christie town hall. but what really made the tough-talking governor a national contender was his handling of the aftermath of the 2012 superstorm sandy. there we met the governor as pragmatic problem solver working with a president from the other party for the good of his state. a governor willing to criticize his own party when he had to. >> there's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims. the house majority and their speaker, john boehner.
this is not a republican or democratic issue. >> that political appeal all folded into the stronger than the storm theme. right town to those ads paid for with sandy money which a federal inspector general is now auditing. but, of course, back then, the response to sandy was good for the governor as reflected in the spike of the governor's approval following sandy, a level of approval that did not deflate until bridge-gate sunk in. if you are chris christie or one of his political advisers, what better way to get your mojo back than to do a sandy town hall? but there's a problem. as we have extensively reported here on "all in," despite the mythosh around the sandy recovery, it's not going nearly as well as advertised. from the fair share housing center, data strongly suggesting a racial disparity in how the money has been given out. the biggest contractor overseeing the distribution of nearly $800 million in federal sandy aid quietly fired with no real explanation. another contractor after that
fired with no real explanation. a new poll nearly 3/4 of state aid applicants felt they have largely been forgotten in the recovery effort. the "asbury park press" that endorsed chris christie saying "answers are overdue on bungled city aid." another report by the fair share housing center showing the christi administration and recently fired contractor hgi erroneously rejected people who were eligible for sandy funding. nearly 80% of people who appealed their rejections eventually won their cases. four out of five people rejected won their appeals. now, initially the christie administration's response was to point fingers. they blamed fema, fema provided data for the high error rates. but in a statement to "all in" win when we reported this story, fema defended that data and integrity and the problems were squarely on new jersey and the christie administration. after our report aired, new jersey re-opened the appeals process for folks that had been rejected.
so here we are again with christie once again trying to blame the obama administration for the second time in less than a month. >> the entire flood insurance business in this country has been taken over by the federal government. it's called the national flood insurance plan which all of you painfully now know, nfip. i said that should be a new "f" word in there. fema is the new "f" word. we're stuck with dealing with federal system that is broken. the idea that the federal government should be given anything else to do is crazy. >> yeah, you see it's all the federal government's fault. not chris christie's fault or his administration. it's the feds. it's those bureaucrats in washington. now, there were plenty of people at today's hearing who applauded and thanked governor christie, though not specifically for his administration's sandy response. and there were also plenty of people who stood up to tell him how their lives have been devastated since the storm.
>> my mom passed away saturday night in a rental house because we can't go home yet. >> i lost my home. it was knocked down back in april. we've been wait listed and denied for all the grants. >> we've asked multiple times. >> we just want to go home. >> mayor, my house is still broken. >> one of the people who asked a question this morning is tom, a lawyer born and raised in new jersey. he wanted to know about the companies behind the state's response to sandy. >> why was hgi fired? why did you pay them $50 million? and why did you privatize most -- why did you privatize most of the grant program? you didn't have to do that. >> i just disagree with you. okay? so you say not to privatize it. the alternative, the alternative is -- >> answer the question. >> i'm answering the question. the alternative -- the alternative is to have hired
thousands of additional government employees to be able to administer this program. who is going to administer it? i am not going to bring on more people who i have to pay health benefits for, pensions for. over the long haul to run a program that by its very nature is a temporary program. that is the type of people that you bring in private contractors to run. >> tom didn't know if he would get into today's town hall or if he would get to confront the governor in person. but when we spoke to him this morning, he did know he had a lot of questions. >> why should the 15,000 people that applied for the r.e.m. grant, in the bay shore, trust you? why should we believe it's been distributed fairly? >> largey was planning to move into a cottage on his parents' property in seabright, new jersey, then sandy hit. >> until sandy, they never got water anywhere near coming into the house. the back three feet of water came in. outside, there was between eight and nine feet of water.
>> we went with largey back to seabright, to the house he's been fighting to get federal sandy aid money to rebuild. >> day have no money to raise the house. a lot of people are in the same situation. insulation, wiring, piping. electricity, sheetrock, paint, molding. utility boxes, stairs, tile, bathroom fixtures. it's a lot. >> there's a reason that largey is frustrated with the christie administration's response. >> i took two trips there, two letters. many calls to the managers. just to find out months later in november, november 28th, after we applied on may 25th, the first day you could apply online on their computer system, that we're on the wait list. >> largey has largely accepted he and his parents may not get money, but he still wants to know the people of new jersey are being treated fairly. >> i hope mr. christie and his administration explains to
everyone, proves to us now that the grant process was fair and sure there's not enough money, but the people who did get it deserved it and money wasn't wasted. and he didn't prove it to me today. >> so far, tom's still waiting for answers. for his parents and for the people of new jersey. >> my parents are a little fortunate, we're be able to muddle through this. there are a lot of people who probably won't be able to. >> today, on a day when the governor was trying to address sandy aid failures, a bill to districtly regulate how the state spends money intended for hurricane sandy recovery was approved by a state assembly panel. not a moment too soon. we're also learning the christie administration gave more sandy funds to the controversial belleville project, the senior center that got built in an area not barely devastated by sandy. lisa ryan, spokeswoman for the department of community affairs said the project changed.
joining me, darryl isherwood and staci. berger. first of all, what was your reaction? >> i thought it was interesting they pointed fingers as they've done all along at the federal government. it wasn't the federal government that inappropriately and unfairly rejected people. it wasn't the federal government that didn't put up the right information on spanish language websites. it wasn't the federal government that lost people's applications four or five times. those problems, the things people are really frustrated about and feel they're not getting heard and not getting help, those things are directly the responsibility of the christie administration. >> the federal government who hired two different contractors, one who paid $39 million and another $10 million in settlement. >> $10.5 million. >> for ten months of work before quietly firing. that was not the federal government. that was a christie -- >> parting ways. >> parting ways.
right. i'm sorry. that was not -- the federal government did not tell chris christie's administration to hire those folks. >> no, they had no role in that. the federal resources that came into new jersey are supposed to be the most flexible federal funding that's available to states can design programs that work best for their jurisdiction. these were the programs that the christie administration set up and decided they wanted to pursue. nobody made them do that. >> darryl, we've been covering ever since that notorious e-mail dump which is just this unfolding mystery that we all still want to get to the bottom to. why did he do it? this sandy problem, related in certain ways because of the mayor's allegations from hoboken, about the way sandy aid was improperly used and threatened. this is a growing political problem for this governor. this is his signature accomplishment and it is not some kind of, like, lefty liberal msnbc conspiracy. we talk every week to the citizens of new jersey, some of whom are christie voters who are increasingly at wit's end about what is on with sandy recovery.
>> yeah. what you saw today is they lost control of the sandy message. this was, as you said at the open, this is why he's here. he was mr. sandy, he was the guy in charge. he was down at the beach with the president with the fleece. and now you've got these front-page headlines, money is going to strange places, people are not getting the money, the money is not doled out fairly according to some reports. i think what you're seeing is he's really struggling to get that message back. to get back in control of that message and it's tough. and this is sort of the thing we all have sort of waited for. you know, and this is -- >> what do you mean by that? >> let's go back almost a year when there was gubernatorial aspirations for different democrats. christie's approval numbers were through the roof. there was this feeling, wait a while because of the sheer volume of the damage and the sheer amount of money. it had to -- this had to happen. >> well, so that gets to a question about whether this is being mis -- there's three
possibilities here. one is, it's hard to recover from big storms and people are going to be upset no matter what. two is, that this has been mismanaged and bungled. three is there's actually political funny business as alleged by the mayor of hoboken in the distribution of funds. >> i would definitely pick door number two chris, for sure. it has been mismanaged and it's very plain to see from the folks that testified today and we heard from last week and have been hearing from for eight months at this point that people feel like they do not have a clear explanation of what the guidelines are, what their responsibilities are and what the state is doing to help people. >> and that gets to the second order issue which relates both to the folks we talked to, the person featured in our story, and also reporters which is if they were being more open about what's going on, it wouldn't seem so weird or it wouldn't seem like they're trying to hide something. if they say, we are parting ways with our biggest contractor because they have failed to do "x," "y," and "z" -- >> and we're not going to pay them a settlement. >> okay.
you fire them, you don't tell anyone for six weeks? i mean, you veto a bill for oversight? there is no way to get answers or data out of these people so then you start thinking, what exactly -- >> they didn't put the integrity monitors in they were required to approve. the governor signed it to ten months ago. they were supposed to be effective immediately. we have not seen anything until very, very recently about integrity monitors put into place. the other thing strange about today, he said it's all the federal government's fault but he didn't take any responsibility for what the state has done or talk about how we're going to fix it. what people really want to hear is not so-and-so is to blame, so-and-so is to blame, but how am i going to get back into my house and who's going to help me? >> the whole appeal of the christie brand is washington's not working, washington is dysfunctional, mired in partisan squabbling, shutting down the government. this guy can reach across the aisle, get things donees right? he's competent. whatever you want to say about him, you think he's brash, you don't line the way he treats people in town halls, gets
things done. this is the central test of this administration from a sheer competence level. >> it is. and it's the kind of thing where it's so fraught because as you just saw, you know, we report on it every day, but you sort of look at it in this esoteric way. you see that video and a guy whose house was destroyed. >> 15 months ago. >> 15 months later he's putting up drywall, figure out where he's going to live and how's going to live there. this brings that home to people. that's a dangerous message for the governor. this was his thing. he built his reputation on this. he was, before bridge-gate as we talked about, the front-runner for the gop nomination for presidency because of sandy. >> and in terms of what the stakes are, to me, when we ask about what do we want government to do when we have these debates, right? protect people. we want to make sure they're protected. and caring for them and helping them out when a natural disaster hits. these are core, basic functions of across party and ideology,
you expect basic competence from your government. i have to say right now, all the evidence points to new jersey and the christie administration not delivering on that as of now. darryl isherwood. staci berger of new jersey. thank you, both. coming up, yesterday we brought you the story of wisconsin republican governor scott walker who's having a tough time right now after 27,000 pages of documents were released in the wake of a criminal investigation of one of his former aides. one of those documents is a totally offensive in every possible way chain e-mail forward and that got us thinking. what kind of people send e-mails like that around their office? and today another one, and it's even worse. we'll share it, next.
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yesterday we brought you the news that 27,000 pages of e-mails had been released in relation to a criminal investigation of former aide to wisconsin governor scott walker. the investigation goes back to the time when walker was milwaukee county executive. the e-mails -- his county office worked with his 2010 gubernatorial campaign which is illegal in wisconsin. walker himself was never charged with any wrongdoing. six of his former aides and associated were convicted including former deputy chief of staff kelly rindfleisch, sentenced to six months in prison. i mistakenly said last night she
served the six months in jail when she is repealing her conviction. i regret that error. investigative reporters are still poring through the 27,000 pages of e-mails but there's one e-mail that i read a portion of yesterday that stood out. not because of an abuse of power or corruption, but because of the sheer jaw-dropping offensiveness. it was an e-mail forward sent out by walker's then-chief of staff, thomas nardelli to his then-deputy chief of staff, kelly reinflesh and undisclosed others. it tells the story nightmare. this punch line "i can handle be a black, disabled, one-armed, drug addicted, jewish, homosexual, on a pacemaker, who is hiv positive, bald, orphaned unemployed, lives in a slum and has a mexican boyfriend, but please, oh dear god, don't tell me i'm a democrat." i thought to myself, what kind
of work environment exactly would it be okay to get this in your inbox and forward it? i happen to work in an office, myself. i'm sure many of you do as well. we're all guilty of saying things in the workplace we haven't said. think of a work environment in which a chief of staff sends this kind of e-mail to his subordinates? turns out it wasn't the only one. here's another e-mail from thomas nardelli. this one shows the president smoking a cigarette wearing some kind of special headgear. "new fall hat" says the caption. "acorn cap with the nut still attached." that e-mail skirts the line. let's say it's forgivable in the final analysis. this one, sent to deputy chief of staff kelly reinflesh from someone outside of walker's staff comparing welfare recipients to dogs. "this morning i went to sign my dogs up for welfare. at first the lady said dogs
aren't able to draw welfare. i explain to her my dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak english and have no frigging clue who their dad is. expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care and feel guilty because they're dogs. she looked in the policy book to see what it takes to qualify. my dogs get their first checks on friday." she writes back, "that is hilarious and so true." these are the thoughts of people in charge of things like, i don't know, running the state's welfare system. look, scott walker is a guy who got elected governor and survived a recall in a blue state. he's a guy who as we reported yesterday big money republican donors are looking at to fill the hole created by the chris christie implosion because they think scott walker is the kind of guy who can win nationally by appealing to moderates. this is apparently the kind of operation he was running. think about what would happen to you if you forwarded one of
those e-mail to your co-workers? you would likely be disciplined, might be fired for good reason. not in scott walker's office. these are the people he's hiring. the kind of people who forward you a racist chain letter and not bat an eye. the people he's placing close to him, trusting to run his office, to serve black and gay and jewish and hiv positive and poor citizens of milwaukee county and now wisconsin and maybe of the whole united states. someday. coming up, are you confused about what's going on in ukraine right now? don't know whose side you should be on? don't know which sides there are? you are not alone. we'll explain what's happening there and get the latest, next.
a violent upheaval that looks very much like a civil war if raging right now in a major european capital. tens of thousands of people have been on the streets of ukraine protesting in kiev's independent square since last november. authorities and protesters reporting clashes between protesters and riot police have killed at least 101 people this week. and this new wave of violence came on the heels of a very short-lived truce that lasted just hours. if you're like me, you've been watching this and seeing these image on your screens almost operatic fire and mayhem and bloodshed and trying to fig wrur year out how you feel about what you're seeing. as someone who follows the news and doesn't know a ton about ukraine, i'm confused. what side i should be on.
in 2011 when we watched the uprising take place in tahrir square in egypt, something we covered on this network extensively. we were rooting for the people in the streets, the people standing up against hosni mubarak's regime which had ruled with an iron fist for 30 years and backed by the u.s. government. unlike the folks we're seeing in ukraine, these people were rising up. first nonviolently against massive state repression calling for democracy and civil society. i think we all felt we were with those people. hosni mubarak was outed. some of those people we were rooting for turns out to have had deep ties to the previous regime. the next thing you know, president mohamed morsi, head of the muslim brotherhood, himself, was in a cage being tried for undermining national security. in despite of an attempt to end the military's grip, the
military is in charge of the country yet. the last time, i thought i knew which side i was on, the famous orange revolution, in 2004, a determined middle class came together to protest an election widely considered to have been stolen from viktor yuschenko. that same year, yushchenko was poisoned with a dose of pure dioxin changing the face of a guy who once looked like this to a guy who looked like this. >> mr. president, do you know who did this to you specifically? >> translator: i have no doubt this was done by my opponents in the government. that's who would benefit the most from my death. >> so, i said to myself, i'm definitely not on the side of whichever goons tried to poison
that guy. keep in mind, one of his opponents he was talking about is the current president of ukraine, viktor yanukovych. that brings me to today. the protesters who are upset their government decided to walk away from a trade deal with the eu and move closer to a full embrace with russia. more pointedly, who are now really protesting a series of laws first passed then later repealed by ukrainian parliament that make ukraine at least on paper something lot looks like a dictatorship than a fully functioning open society. when i see people getting shot at and bleeding on the streets, i feel like i now whose side i'm on. when john mccain and chris murphy went to stand with the protesters, they stood next to this guy, an opposition leader an leads ukraine's right wing nationalist party. also first registered as a neonazi party. they're in the streets right now
shooting at police. there's a part of me that wonders if asking which side i'm on is the wrong question and the right question is, how to we avoid a full-out bloody civil war in a country that's right smack between europe and russia? joining me now is nbc news foreign correspondent ayman mohyeldin. there have been developments today. vice president joe biden calling the president yanukovych to basically say pull back, cease and desist. stop shooting at your own people. >> right now there's an intensification of diplomatic efforts coupled with sanctions to try to shape the behavior of the ukrainian government. what they're trying to do, the united states and europe are trying to get the ukrainian government which they believe holds responsibility, most responsibility for the ongoing violence to push their forces away from the square. the square has been the epicenter of these protests for the past several months. thousands of people are in camp
there. right now the violence is happening in and around the square because the government moved forces in to try to break them up. as you mentioned, the protesters have been preparing for this showdown. some of them with lethal weapons leading to the killing of these police forces and that's why the situation is turning rapidly violent. the united states, european union, now imposing sanctions on who they believe are the individuals responsible for ordering this crackdown on the protesters. >> the country that seems since its independence in the 1990s gripped in a longstanding culture war between different parts of the country, one of which speaks russian, one of which speaks ukrainian. this gives you a sense of the kind of ukrainian version of red america/blue america. this is the 2004 map, yushchenko's victory. you basically see the ukrainians speaking part of ukraine voted for him overwhelmingly. the russian-speaking part voted for his opponent overwhelmingly. 2010, another map very, very similar in hue.
what precipitated this, right, was this decision to reject what the eu was offering and move toward a closer embrace with russia. the question is, is what's happening now a kind of mass uprising against the government or something more like a civil war in which there are two competing groups of people who are fighting over the determination of this country's future? >> well, the situation has actually morphed. when this began, it began as a policy debate when the president of the country felt it's in the best interest of ukraine to be closer to russia than the european union. he made a policy decision. that angered a lot of people. people took to the streets. but it was not violent. it did not have sustainable street protests exactly for the reason you mentioned. sop of the country does support closer dies with russia. the government completely mismanaged the situation because they cracked down on the protesters using violence and
the movement morph from being a policy issue to one about fundamental rights. a lot of young people came out. a lot of people on the sidelines. a lot of people changed their positions saying this is a government using force, using a lot of abusive measures. they passed the law you mentioned. cut down on protests. they felt their country was take a step back. that's high it suddenly exploded into something much deeper with a lot of themes similar to what we're seeing in egypt. themes against corruption. abuse of power. things that transcend policy and have to do with the way the state is being run. >> what is the way out now? >> well, if you speak to people involved in the negotiations, there are a few major hurdles. this is no longer about policy. there's nothing president viktor yanukovych can change in a policy to stop the violence. what they want is for president yanukovych to change it, or the government to strip away the powers he has so he does not keep making unilateral decisions
and take into consideration the wide political views in country. that's not on the table. what is on the table is how to stop the violence, how to stop the protesters. more importantly, the criticism against the opposition is that the political opposition, some of those individuals you highlighted in that report, don't necessarily represent the people on the street. the opposition is made up of people that are nationalistic extremists, neonazis but also liberal, moderate, seculars and others and they also are not represented politically. so you have a huge divide. nobody's sure who speaks for who in the political opposition. >> ayman mohyeldin, thank you for that. >> thanks, chris. coming up, one of the biggest sources of water in the continental u.s. and the company that wants to run a pipeline over it. a surprise plot twist from nebraska, coming up.
to virtually jack into the unedited thought stream of strangers. that's fascinating and important when those strangers are some of the most powerful people in the world. like rupert murdoch, one questionable one of the world's most powerful private citizens. he uses twitter like an angry dude who spends all day on conservative message boards. he doesn't like something, he's hitting tweet. recently he had a zinger which said "wild winter in u.s., uk, et cetera. no respectable evidence this manmade climate change in spite of blindly ignorant politicians." you have to give it to the guy, it has, in fact, been told here. funny enough, he is neither from the u.s. nor the uk. he's from australia. australia is not cold. australia is so hot it is on fire, literally. that's australia which just had its hottest year on record and the heatwaves fanning those flames with becoming more frequent and hotter creating
some of the most absolutely dystopic hellish landscapes you can imagine. the place of your birth is in flames, buddy. it's not just australia. we have data from january around the world, it was a hot month. the blue squares over the northeastern u.s., parts of russia, means it was cooler than average last month. no record lows. none. all that red is where it was hotter than average. and all those really dark red squares, those are all record highs just from last month. so, yes, mr. murdoch, it's cold in some places and warm in others like the land of your birth. if you don't believe me, look at this heartbreaking headline. kangaroos are fainting from the heat. what left wing propaganda outlet could have published this dispatch? "sky news" owned by none other than proud twitter crank, rupert murdoch. heck, i saved judith here a fortune
with discounts like safe driver, multi-car, paperless. you make a mighty fine missus, m'lady. i'm not saying mark's thrifty. let's just say, i saved him $519, and it certainly didn't go toward that ring. am i right? [ laughs ] [ dance music playing ] so visit progressive.com today. i call this one "the robox."
all right. ready for tonight's fun fact? almost a third of all the water used to irrigate crops in this beautiful bounteous country of ours comes from one source. it's called the ogallala aquifer. you can't see it because it's underground but it is massive. >> the ogallala aquifer, known as the high plains aquifer, is a groundwater storage reservoir that stretches 174,000 square miles underneath parts of eight states.
from south dakota to texas. >> on top of the ogallala aquifer is a whole lot of farmland. beautiful, rich farmland that benefits greatly from the fact there's an easy source of water beneath it. and there's a proposal to run a pipeline. you might have heard of it. called the keystone xl pipeline that would transport some of the dirtiest oils, extract it through tar sands in canada, down through the ogallala aquifer and down to mexico. we're talking about creating a farmland oil aquifer sandwich. you don't have to be a namby pamby hippy pathologist to say this is a good idea. you might be a nebraska rancher who is not happy about the prospect of a big canadian oil company trying to build a pipeline that threatens the aquifer and could mean you lose control of your land. this has been the basis of a huge political fight in nebraska for the past few years and something pretty incredible
happened a couple years back. nebraska's republican governor dave heineman signed a law that said the canadian oil company that wants to build the pipeline, you know what, i'm going to hand the power of eminent domain over to you. you guys run your pipeline where you think it needs to go, use the power of the state to forcibly take control of people's land if you need to and i just have to approve your route. seriously, that happened. this here is the language of the law that allows, "any company, corporation or association in the business of, quote, transporting crude oil, petroleum or other gases to, quote, have whatever right to acquire whatever land it needs to build its pipeline using the power of eminent domain. yesterday we got good news. a judge in nebraska said, no, not so fast. struck down that law. the one i quoted from. the one that gave the governor power to approve the pipeline route. that power now belongs to nebraska's public service
commission which now must approve a new route. a result that may well give president obama no choice but to delay the politically explosive decision over whether to give the pipeline final approval. joining me, elana shore for "green wire." and nikki silvestri. elana, you have been going great reporting out of nebraska on precisely this fight. were you surprised by this federal judge's ruling yesterday? >> honestly, chris, i wasn't. the landowners had a pretty strong case here. you know, heineman came back and changed the rules for trans-canada. he had nod reason to. what happened is obama vetoed the original keystone xl. trans-canada had to come back hat in hand to nebraska and nebraska's legislators that don't affiliate with parties but largely sided with the oil company said, hey, let's to it, give you the rubber stamp power. the law was hastily written so
this is not terribly surprising. >> so you have a situation in which this thing has to be approved by his public service. they can't do what they want with the route. they can't run it where they feel they need to run it. what kind of delay does this mean for actually building this thing? >> here's where the plot thickens. the attorney general announced within hours of the ruling he was appealing the decision. obviously it went against heineman. obviously he has to. he's a republican just like the governor. until that appeal is decided, the public service commission cannot even act. it's going to sit on its hands as well. >> the clock doesn't start running until they plays out which, we know about legal processes, a while. the reason i wanted to bring you into this conversation is, one of the incredible things about the david and goliath battle waged over the keystone pipeline is it stitched together an amazing coalition of folks. you have people of indigenous background in canada. nebraska ranchers. urban folks down in texas.
you've got this amazing coalition that's come together to fight against this pipeline. how did that happen? >> you know, it happened because this is a much bigger story of a human rights issue. these tar sands are going to destroy tribal lands. they're already hurting children and families in canada, and people know that if they don't act, if they don't say all together, this is going to hurt all of us, that nothing's going to happen. >> are you surprised this issue, i first start to cover, "a," fix is in, it will get approved and built because the oil companies always win. "b," no one's ever going to be talks about it on primetime cable news, for instance. are you surprised by how inflated the issue has become, many it's now a central part of american political debate? >> you know, frankly, i'm not surprised. one of the reasons i'm not surprised is because people are actually smart.
they're starting to see that the superstorms that are happening on the east coast, the drought that's happening on the west coast, all of those things are actually related. and if we don't talk about climate change, and if we don't talk about making sure that we reduce carbon emissions, that nothing is going to change. one of the striking things is as you said, it's a coalition of incredibly diverse people. excel descends is a student coalition that's going to be marching on the white house next month. it's said to be one of the largest student nonviolent actions that has happened in the recent environmental history. >> elana, you have covered the nebraska local part of this. you've also covered the washington angle of this. in terms of what nikki was saying, it struck me, i was talking to a nebraska activist trying to kill this. they were very focused. a lot were motivated about global warming and the emissions from tar sands. they were laser-like focused on eminent domain, do the ranchers control their land? they've been very effective waging that local battle on local concerns and local turf. >> absolutely, chris.
i've spoken to ranchers who say i'm a card carrying member of the national rifle association, i don't want to talk to you about climate change, whether or not it's happening, but i know this pipeline is going to ruin my water supply if it leaks. i'm against it, my neighbors are against it. that's a winning coalition in that state. >> it's a winning coalition that at first had the republican governor when this first appeared as a political issue, when this first fell into this lap, it had him opposing the pipeline. >> absolutely. he and the republican senator, mike johanns were hand in hand opposing the original route before trans-canada changed it. >> nikki, what is the next step here in terms of keeping this kind of sustained pressure on, the process is obviously working its way through. we got the state department. what is the next step for the movement of folk who are try to fight this thing? >> the next step is to keep going more of the same and do it louder. last year, there was a group of 48 activists that got arrested at the white house. protesting this.
and the important thing about that is it wasn't just environmentalists. it was civil rights activists. it was an actress. darryl hannah was there. it was leaders in the business community. as i said, next month, there will be the largest student protest that's happened in recent environmental history. the sioux nation issued a statement saying they're will to put their bodies on the line if this is not stopped. we need groups willing to go there when it comes to saying we're telling you we can't do this. >> elana shore. nikki silvestri from "green for all." more on the keystone pipeline, why it's become republicans' new favorite way to troll president obama. stick around. the day we rescued riley,
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>> a shovel ready american energy project. >> look, the president's been talking about creating jobs. this is ready to go immediately. >> one of the most important projects on his desk. >> the most studied pipeline. >> keystone pipeline. new study. come in. environmental impact, negligible. 42,000 jobs. you're going to okay it, i presume. >> keystone xl is a terrific point. >> most americans strongly support building the pipeline. >> if you are a birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, green peace activist, you should love the keystone pipeline. >> listen, we can build it. there's no -- there's nothing complex about the keystone pipeline. it's time to build it. >> that pipeline they're talking about, been a regional fight being covered by local papers in nebraska. republicans are not going to do anything any more for the rest of this election year besides troll the president on keystone xl pipeline.
joining me now is david weigel, political reporter for "slate." how did this happen? how did this become the guiding light for the republican policy for 2014? >> it's become totemic because of the primaries. decisions when this would be built was happening in the timeframe. you saw newt gingrich and mitt romney most memorably saying he would build the pipeline, himself, if he had been elected and the president didn't it by them. totemic, it means more than the 25,000 jobs. it's a way to present the president as the person who doesn't believe the energy revolution. right now, at a speech by ted cruz in sarasota, florida, i was at a speech with him yesterday in beaumont, texas, where he stood in front of an oil gusher. this is the point he's making. america is having an energy revolution and the president who doesn't believe in this stuff is leaving us out of it. >> there's reporting in the "washington post" about what the gop agenda looks like for the
rest of the year. house gop's annual retreat, devoted their speeches, necessity of the unified front, pressuring the president to support the keystone xl pipeline, among other issues that could be helpful on the campaign trail. they think they can run ads on this and make hay out of it. >> some of the senate seats they think they're going to win in states that voted for romney by as many as 20 points over the president, this will be a winner for them. amazing success in 2012 running on coal in kentucky, west virginia. probably other reasons they did so well in those states. there's a portion of their base that doesn't believe in global warming, believes it in less the more the democrats talk about it. i've been in texas and florida. john kerry's speech on climate change, the fact that john kerry gave it, the fact that al gore exists. that's enough for them to discredit the arguments for building this stuff. >> all the reasons are ricochet lying. i'm not going to lie, we
liberals do this, too. i want to convince you folks watching at home you should not support the keystone pipeline. i pay you a bunch of republicans saying they do. what's happening on the right is this ricochet reasoning that liberals say it's happening. >> completely. they believe this will create jobs. they believe the estimate the company gives rather than the independent estimate. i think what's hurt some of the momentum is gas prices have not increased very much in the last two years really since the republican campaign. what they're trying to argue is that they would go even further down than the reason they've gone down -- they've stayed -- >> right. >> -- stable is because the revolution that obama -- that's the way they frame it. >> they have to make the counterfactual argument as posed to the high water mark days particularly back in 2008 before the crash when we had high gas prices, it was drill, baby, drill. dave weigel from "slate." enjoy florida.
that's "all in." "the rachel maddow show" begins this second. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. a lot going on in the news. coming up this hour, a rather stunning report from richard engel in ukraine. we've got that in just a few minutes. and it is totally worth sticking around if for nothing else that you want to see in this hour on the show. we have a story tonight you will not see anywhere else, out of pennsylvania, a woman being criminally prosecuted for something you won't believe she's being prosecuted for. new news tonight on the bridge scandal in chris christie's new jersey. one of the main figures in that scandal has one of his own actions, appears to have been an illegal action, he has one of his own actions retroactively undone. it's like annulled in history. if you could pick your own superpower, retroactively undoing things would have a good superpower to have.